World Food Safety Day

There is no food security without food safety Food safety

Is an essential part of food security. Only when food is safe can it meet nutritional needs and help adults to live an active and healthy life and children to grow and develop.

Food safety has a direct impact on health

Safe food allows for the uptake of nutrients, and promotes long-term human development and achievement of several of the SDGs. Food safety is a shared responsibility, involving the whole supply chain, from producers to consumers. In this context, most foodborne disease is preventable with proper food handling and education at all levels.

Science is key to sound food safety management

Monitoring and surveillance and other data collection efforts followed by its assessment together with scientific research ensures that we have the knowledge and information to develop the expert scientific advice needed to maintain safe food despite changes to the production environment, processing technology and consumer habits.

Food safety impacts positively on economies and livelihoods

By ensuring their commodities meet food standards, producers and food traders gain the confidence of their market and secure their income. Unsafe food in trade can lead to export bans and destroy businesses, but governments can help protect the livelihoods of food workers by establishing a robust food control system and rigorous export controls.

Food standards protect consumers

When food safety standards are applied consumers will be protected by the efforts that have been undertaken in making sure that the food they consume is safer. Food safety standards provide a common basis for understanding and, at the same time, the common basis for joint action to ensure that all of us can benefit from safe food.

Food standards help producers

Implementing standards, guidelines and codes of practice along the food supply chain ensures that food is safe and nutritious when it reaches the consumer, contributing to consumer confidence in the products. Governments, producers, processors and retailers all play a part in ensuring food standards are met. The international food safety standards of the Codex Alimentarius facilitate fair practices in international trade.

Science underpins food standards

Food standards help to ensure food is safe. They are established following expert advice from food scientists, microbiologists, veterinarians, medical doctors and toxicologists, to name a few. They advise policymakers what food production, processing, handling and preparation practices are needed to make food safe.

Everyone is a risk manager

Everyone evaluates food safety risks as part of their daily choices. These choices are made by individuals and collectively by families, communities, businesses and governments.

Facts and figures

One in ten people worldwide falls ill from contaminated food each year. It affects all countries. Over 200 diseases are caused by eating food contaminated with bacteria, viruses, parasites or chemical substances such as heavy metals. Children under 5 make up 9 percent of the population, but carry 40 percent of the foodborne disease burden. Food safety standards protect the lives of all, and the livelihoods of many.

They establish the criteria which food should meet to protect consumers and establish confidence in the product. The Codex Alimentarius Commission has been setting international food standards for 60 years. The Codex Alimentarius has 236 standards, 84 guidelines, 56 codes of practice, 126 maximum levels for contaminants in food, and over 10 000 quantitative standards covering maximum levels for food additives and maximum residue limits for pesticides and veterinary drugs in food.

(As of February 2023) Antimicrobial-resistant microbes can be transmitted through the food chain, via direct contact between animals and humans or through the environment. Each year, an estimated 5 million people die around the globe because of infections with antimicrobial resistant microbes.

Microbial, chemical or physical contamination of food can be reduced or minimized through the implementation of food safety standards. Since 2016, the Codex Trust Fund, a joint FAO and WHO programme to enhance participation in Codex, has supported 50 developing and transition economy countries in strengthening their institutions to participate more effectively in Codex work.

Safe and nutritious foods benefit child growth and development by improving intellectual and physical potential, as well as increasing school performance and work productivity in adult life. The safety of food is affected by the health of animals, plants and the environment within which it is produced. Adopting a holistic One Health approach to food safety will deliver a better food safety system. Food safety contributes to the achievement of several of the SDGs and is a truly cross-cutting area.

Spread the love

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *